Over my years here I discovered that some Americans shy away from tasty foods because they may seem exotic and unknown. I am not advocating eating anything weird here and I have my limits too . Snakes, turtles, coffee crapped out by monkeys, and other strange things are not normally found in my menu. However, as a public service, I always try to introduce my co-workers and anyone who would listen (I don’t have any friends) to some foods that are truly good but may not be well-known for one reason or another.
Today I would like to talk about persimmons. Persimmons are apparently very popular in Asia but I’ve known and loved them since I was a child. There are two kinds of persimmon – astringent (which means it will pucker up your mouth so bad, you will curse me when you can start talking again) and non-astringent which you can eat like a crunchy apple. The astringent kind seems to taste more sophisticated while the other kind is sweet,juicy and tasty. If you purchase astringent kind which is actually called hachiya make sure you let it ripen until soft before eating it. You can also freeze it overnight and the let it thaw to get rid of mouth-puckering tannins. Hachiya persimmons have pointy shape and are easy to spot.
The other kind of persimmons is called fuyu.They are flattened on the top and bottom. These are bright orange when ripe and I eat them with skin just like an apple.
Locally you can buy persimmons at Chinese and Vietnamese stores around City Market, any other Asian store and for little more money at your grocery store and Costco.
They are currently in season and about 99 cents for a pound. Try to get some without blemishes and visible soft spots.
Read more about persimmons and enjoy.